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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2001 Jun;25(6):882-9.

Cardioprotective effect of propranolol from alcohol-induced heart muscle damage as assessed by plasma cardiac troponin-t.

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Department of Clinical Biochemistry , Guy's, King's and St. Thomas Medical School, King's College London, London, UK.



Heavy alcohol consumption from either long-term misuse or binge drinking is associated with poor cardiac contractility, mitochondrial dysfunction, and ventricular arrhythmias. The aim of this study was to measure circulating cardiac troponin-T as a marker for myocardial damage following acute and chronic alcohol administration.


In acute studies, male Wistar rats were treated with alcohol (75 mmol/kg body weight, intraperitoneal) and plasma was collected 2.5 hr after alcohol administration for analysis of rat cardiac troponin-T. In addition, rats were pretreated with cyanamide (an inhibitor of acetaldehyde dehydrogenase), various beta-blockers, xanthine oxidase inhibitors, or lisinopril before acute alcohol dosing. In chronic studies, rats were fed alcohol (as 35% of total dietary calories) for 6 weeks.


The results of the time course study showed that acute alcohol administration significantly raised plasma cardiac troponin-T levels after 2.5 hr and 6 hr, but not after 24 hr. The effects of alcohol on cardiac troponin-T were potentiated with cyanamide pretreatment. Acute ethanol, alone or with cyanamide pretreatment, decreased systolic blood pressure and increased heart rates. Beta-blocker pretreatment with propranolol reduced the alcohol-induced increase in plasma troponin-T, whereas lisinopril potentiated this effect. The beta-blockers, atenolol and metoprolol, and the xanthine oxidase inhibitors, allopurinol and oxypurinol, were unable to reduce elevated troponin-T. However, pretreatment with the beta-blocker timolol moderated the acute alcohol-induced increase in troponin-T. In the chronic alcohol rat model, no differences were observed between alcohol and control pair-fed rats, suggesting the inducement of tolerance.


In conditions of acute exposure, ethanol-induced lesions are characterized by raised plasma cardiac troponin-T possibly due to beta1 and/or beta2 adrenergic activation.

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